What To Do If You See A Downed Power Line

Blog / By / February 18, 2020

down power lines in icy situation

Winter weather, summer storms and even structural damage can cause a power line to fall. If you ever see one, knowing the right way to respond could save your life. Power lines often carry 345,000 volts of electricity.

Don’t Touch It

Some people think that power lines are safe to touch if they’ve fallen down because they’re insulated. Others reason that because birds often perch on them without injury, they’re safe for humans, too. Neither of these are the case.

Birds are not harmed because they do not touch the ground; humans are a source for electricity to “latch” onto because of their direct connection with the earth. Anything that provides an electrical current with a new downstream to the ground is at a risk of shock.

Keep Your Distance

 

Keep at least 35 feet between you and the power line at all times. This can be equivalent to three cars or a bus’s length. You should never attempt to move or investigate a downed power line on your own, and advise others to retreat to safety as well.

The best way to move from a power line is to shuffle. Use small steps to gradually back away from the line. Keep your feet close together and always on the ground to avoid attracting the electrical current.

Contact 911

When a power line goes down, it could still be live. Since most tend to fall in areas where they can easily come in contact with people and moving vehicles, you should call for help right away.

Contact GEN3 Electric & HVAC for any of your home’s electric needs. We service homes throughout Philadelphia, PA, and offer everything from circuit rewiring and maintenance to lighting installation and ceiling fan repair. Call us today at 215-512-4102.